Soccer star Hope Solo almost made it to the top three during her time on “Dancing With the Stars” last fall, but according to her new memoir, the experience with her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy was less than joyous.
According to multiple press reports, in her new book, “Solo: A Memoir of Hope,” the athlete says Chmerkovskiy “manhandled me in rehearsals from the start, pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly. I thought that was just how it went – how dancers worked with each other. But it kept getting worse.”
In another incident, Solo says the Ukrainian-American dancer slapped her across the face hard enough to make her ears ring. She writes, “He was extremely apologetic. I didn’t care. My ear was ringing as I walked out, shaking. I had just been hit, and I had been worried about how I would come off looking on television.”
Chmerkovskiy appeared to respond to the claims on his Twitter feed on Thursday, writing, “Always hated hypocrites and liars … but when someone is both AND an opportunist, I just feel bad for them. Can’t win at someone’s expense …”
Leno takes pay cut to save staff jobs
Published reports say “The Tonight Show” has laid off about two dozen workers and host Jay Leno has taken a large pay cut to save the jobs of other staffers.
The moves are part of a restructuring to save money at NBC. NBC Universal imposed the cutbacks Friday, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. Both newspapers cited an unnamed person familiar with what happened.
NBC has been losing money, increasing the pressure to cut expenses under corporate parent Comcast Corp.
A spokesman for Leno says the late-night show host did what he thought was necessary to protect his staff.
Miss China crowned Miss World
China’s Yu Wenxia has been crowned the 2012 Miss World.
This is the second time Miss China has been awarded the title. The last time was in 2007 when Zhang Zilin took the honor.
The first runner-up is Sophie Elizabeth Moulds of Wales and the second runner-up is Jessica Michelle Kahawaty of Australia.
The 23-year-old Yu is a music student who says she wants to become a music teacher.
The birthday bunch
Actor L.Q. Jones is 85. Actor and former U.S. senator Fred Thompson is 70. Former President Bill Clinton is 66. Actor John Stamos is 49. Actress Kyra Sedgwick is 47. Actor Kevin Dillon is 47. Country singer Lee Ann Womack is 46. Actor Matthew Perry is 43. Rapper Fat Joe is 42. Rapper Romeo is 23.